Showing posts with label Prince. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Prince. Show all posts

September 17, 2019

Prince Harry Praises Gay Rugby Star and Promises to Work With Him to End HIV Stigma

By Toyin Owoseje, CNN

Britain's Prince Harry has thrown his support behind Gareth Thomas after the Welsh rugby star was forced to go public with his HIV-positive status.

Sharing a picture of the former Wales and British Lions rugby captain on the Sussex Royal Instagram page, the Duke of Sussex commended him for his bravery, saying he was "saving lives" by speaking out.

Gareth Thomas and Prince Harry will work together
 Gareth Thomas and Prince Harry will work together in braking the HIV Stigma

"Gareth, you are an absolute legend! In sharing your story of being HIV+, you are saving lives and shattering stigma, by showing you can be strong and resilient while living with HIV," he wrote, alongside a picture of 45-year-old Thomas.

"We should all be appalled by the way you were forced to speak your truth, it is yours and yours alone to share on your terms and I and millions stand with you."

On Saturday night, Thomas posted a video on Twitter in which he spoke about his condition for the first time, explaining that blackmailers had threatened to disclose his diagnosis.

Thomas, who came out as gay in 2009, was told he had HIV, a virus that attacks the body's immune system, during a routine sexual health check-up.
Welsh rugby legend Gareth Thomas reveals he has HIV

He said that while the admission made him "extremely vulnerable," it did not make him weak.
"Even though I've been forced to tell you this, I choose to fight, to educate and break the stigma around this subject."

He added: "I am asking you to help me to show that everyone lives in fear of people's reactions and opinions... But that doesn't mean we should have to hide but to do this, I really, really need your support."

Harry is well-placed to help Thomas challenge misconceptions about living with HIV.
He is the co-founder of the charity Sentebale, which focuses on supporting HIV-positive young people in Lesotho. And in 2016, he took an HIV test on Facebook Live during a visit to London's King's College Hospital as part of his fight to eradicate the stigma surrounding the disease.

He said at the time: "We need to normalize testing and smash the stigma. We have a responsibility to ourselves, to the people, we are in a relationship with, the people that we love."

Harry's tribute to Thomas followed a message of support from his brother, Prince William. The Duke of Cambridge, who is a patron of the Welsh Rugby Union, told followers on his Kensington Palace Instagram account: "Courageous as ever -- legend on the pitch and legend off it. You have our support Gareth. W."

January 8, 2018

Gay India's Prince Opens His Palace for LGBT Looking for Safety

 Prince Manvendra Singh Gohil Poses for  his painting

A gay Indian prince has opened up his 15-acre palace grounds to vulnerable LGBT people and is said to be constructing more buildings to house visitors.

Prince Manvendra Singh Gohil, who is the son and probable heir of the Maharaja of Rajpipla in Gujarat in western India, will run the center with his organization The Lakshya Trust.

The royal, who was ostracised by his family after coming out publically in 2006, started the community-based organization to support gay men and educate people about the prevention of HIV/Aids.

Homosexuality remains a big taboo in Indian society and sex between people of the same gender is punishable by law in the country.

The controversial Section 377 of the country’s penal code bans sexual activity that is “against the order of nature” and many have interpreted the wording to include gay sex. 

India declares freedom of sexual orientation a fundamental right
Speaking to the International Business Times, the prince said he was keen to empower people with the social security system they need to ensure they are left with nothing if their families disown them after coming out.

"If I could undergo these problems then any other gay person could face a similar situation,” he said.

"In India, we have a family system and we are mentally conditioned to be with our parents. The moment you try to come out you are told you will be thrown out and society will boycott you. You become a social outcast. A lot of people are financially dependent on their parents."
"I want to give people social and financial empowerment, so eventually people who want to come out won't be affected. They will have their own social security system. It won't make a difference if they are disinherited."

The prince’s coming out was breaking news all over India at the time and resulted in effigies of him being burned in his home state and people calling for him to be denied his title. On top of this, he was disowned and disinherited by his parents. 

Since then he has been the subject of BBC series Undercover Princes – a 2009 reality TV show which took three royals from their respective cultures and put them in Brighton where they were forced to “live and date”.

Prince Manvendra's charity provides counseling, clinical services, and support groups to thousands of men who have sex with men. Many of the men in question have yielded to cultural burdens to marry women despite their sexuality. 

The prince himself was forced into marriage in 1991 but has since said the relationship was "a total disaster". It resulted in divorce the following year. 

Prince Manvendra, who had a highly traditional and conservative upbringing, appeared as a guest on The Oprah Winfrey Show back in 2007. He was one of three persons featured on the show titled “Gay Around the World”, saying he does not regret coming out and that he thinks the people living in his state admire him for the leading role he has taken in preventing and educating about HIV/Aids.

Last summer, India’s Supreme Court issued a historic ruling confirming the right of the country’s LGBT people to express their sexuality without discrimination. 

Judges in India ruled sexual orientation is covered under clauses in the Indian Constitution that link to liberty in spite of the government claiming there was no legal right to privacy. The ruling leads the way for discriminatory practices against LGBT people in the country to be challenged in the courts.

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